Saturday 20 June 2009

Is Twitter useless?

According to Larry Bodine, who should know whereof he speaks, Twitter is "not effective for law firm marketing" and in fact can do positive harm

his analysis seems sound, I don't use Twitter for marketing, but for fun and, as I read his article, it emphasised how I do not use Twitter as is apparently expected:

1: I do not seek to follow a large number of people - I started using Twitter as a way of keeping in touch with my children while they were abroad, and have added people that I find interesting for one reason or another. I see no point in following people who do not have similar interests, etc, unless they are inherently interesting

2: I do not seek a large number of followers: I'm not trying to change the world or people's opinions - that said, I do use Twitter to "announce" new blog posts, such as this one, so maybe I'm not being entirely honest with myself!

3: I tend to follow local people, rather than far-flung Tweeters - I enjoy collecting (and distributing) local information - or people I know of in another context. It seems that many of those who follow me (for a while) have no particular reason to, but perhaps they are just trying me out (and finding me wanting, no doubt!)

It seems that Twitter has a "miserable" retention rate of 40% - for a networking tool that is tightly limited by its very nature, I'd say that's a pretty good retention rate. And, as Bodine himself admits, Twitter "is just a blip on the radar right now" - it may have staying power or it may not, but if it does I hope it will be as a social tool, not as a marketing one

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